tv BBC World News America PBS January 27, 2012 5:30pm-6:00pm EST
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>> this is "bbc world is america" reporting from washington. the syrian regime, the government cracks down. we are inside a suburb of damascus where the opposition is digging in. >> the only way he can get his authority is to send and his men and use their guns and bullets. >> a suspect heart drug is suspected to be responsible for deaths in pakistan. fighting for a chance at olympic glory. with a six months to go until the olympic games, we will introduce you to a female boxer. welcome to our viewers on pbs in america.
friday has become synonymous with a bloody crackdowns in syria and today has proved no exception. activists are claiming that the army has begun renewed assaults on several cities. our middle east editor reports now from the damascus suburb where it appears that the assad's government brit is weakening. >> to find out the strength of the opposition, drive into a suburb of damascus. we had no idea. we found the free syrian army, deserters from the president's forces, securing a poor district on the edge of the city. they said they were protecting the people who were about to hold a funeral. they looked well established here with sandbag firing positions. everyone was on edge.
for 10 months, the regime's forces have been clamping down hard on friday protests. this man claims to have been a general in the syrian forces. a man interrupted to pray for the army. then, something no one wanted to hear. here they come don't be afraid, said the general. our resistance is strong. -- here they come. don't be a friend, said the general. some of them got ready to fight. stay with me. don't be afraid. centuries were sending in information by phone. -- sentries were sending in information by phone. they all knew what their job was. some went to positions. some went deeper in.
it felt as if every man was there. a big sendoff for a man that was killed by the security forces. across syria, funerals are a focus for opposition. they chanted, "god, you are all we have. god, we are your men." this is a section of damascus which has slipped out of control of president assad. the only way he can assert his authority is to send in the men and to use guns and bullets. and for a moment, that was what they thought was about to happen. this shows the tension even with the free syria army close by.
he warned about snipers ahead. getting out was not easy. the free army controls a surprisingly the area but there were also surrounded. all of this does not mean that the president is about to fall. he has his own support and heavy weapons. the regime's forces cannot be everywhere at once and the power of the opposition is growing. >> as a fence pickup pace inside of syria come at the one -- as events pickup payson side of syria, there are also discussions going on at the u.n. russia is certain to veto this. what more can the u.n. do? >> the solution lies in side of syria. but there is no consensus within
the arab world or arab league at first and foremost. that is the decisive difference than from syria. there was a consensus and then there was a u.n. resolution and then nato action. the arab league has to decide what to do and they are into uncharted territory. they have called for assad to step down. that is something that the arab league as done. >> how strong is his position that they are taking on? >> this is important politically. the arab league realizes their credibility is at stake. what this translates to is making sanctions as effective as possible to strangle the syrian regime. sanctions on their but the compliance is not yet what it needs to be. >> we see the fighting dragged on, we see the resistance build
but assad remaining defiant. does this ratcheting up of pressure make any difference because he does not care, does he? >> through the efforts of the u.s. ambassador and other allied ambassadors, they have been able to effectively communicate to the syrian people, we are with you. that has meaning. if the opposition can make clear to the syrian people that they can protect the syrian people, then village by village you start to achieve critical mass. that puts pressure on the government and most significantly, the security forces. they have been defending the regime for a year. they are tired, they are bloody. at a point, if their loyalty to the regime was put in question, then it is possible that the house of cards will fall. >> you mentioned libya a few moments ago.
does libya provide any form a blueprint for the way the international community handles the crisis? >> this is where the russian role can be decisive. you have a crisis in libya and russia does not want to cross that bridge again unless the arab league has a much stronger statement. there is a blueprint in libya. clear regional support, the u.n. security resolution gives them the dowdy and legitimacy. >> very briefly, the obama administration says military intervention is still out of the question but do you see that this could change? >> this is where the arab league is important. if there is a shift in attitude within the region, that puts other things in play better not there right now. >> thank you very much. dozens of protesters have stormed the syrian embassy briefly occupying the building
in egypt. they were taken away by security officials. of the occupation came as thousands of egyptians stopped in tahrir square to mark the anniversary of the day of rage, on an important milestone in the uprising. 32 people have died after a blast in a mainly shi'a area of baghdad. witnesses said the blast was caused by a suicide bomber driving a car laden with explosives. french troops will resume their training mission in afghanistan as of saturday but the leaders will ask nato to hand over all, that responsibility to afghan troops by 2013. that is a year earlier than planned. that was the announcement made by french president nicolas sarkozy and afghan leader hamid karzai. this came after the
french president warned of a pullout after the killing of french troops by an afghan soldier. earlier, i spoke to the french representative to afghanistan. thank you for joining us. you talking in your book about the danger of deadlines in afghanistan but now we are expecting president sarkozy of france and afghan president hamid karzai to ask nato to hand over combat missions to afghan troops in 2013. that is a year earlier than the plan to withdraw. what do you think of that? >> i am surprised. i warned against deadlines because and afghan society, you simply cannot implement solutions to anything in the short time frames we're used to in the west.
we do not understand how long it takes. i warned against time lines because it is much more important, i believe to do what you need to do based on the situation in the ground. when the situation in the ground is ready, then we shall be ready. if it is not ready, then we should not be dictated by artificial time lines, even if they may seem logical from the point of view of u.s. presidential candidates. >> how the balance talking with the enemy and trying to crush the enemy? >> they talk about fight, top, build. that is a good formula. the emphasis has been beyond talking.
we have to calibrate our activities in afghanistan in order to put that emphasis. >> in your book, you talk about your personal relationship with president hamid karzai and you say that you are disappointed with him. you are not the first person to say that. has he actually changed or is his dependence on war lords and power brokers on inevitable part of the job? >> i was disappointed by the fact that he became increasingly dependent on the war lords and power brokers but i do say that i understand him in many ways and i understand his way of acting in critical circumstances better than most. i spent quite a lot of time with him. first of all, i agreed with him quite often. when i disagreed with him the most often i understood why he did what he did. we do not quite understand the
political landscape just as an afghan war in the region. this is just as an afghan does not understand the political landscape in america. >> you talk about the despair and the lost war and you have called for more patients. after 10 years, how much longer is this going to take? >> we can see how much time we lost. have we for 10 years pursued a clear and coherent strategy? is this the right strategy? i don't think so. when karzai came in, did he have the instruments of power? no. he did not have military forces or civilian institutions. did we create those in order to allow him to project power across the country? >no, we did not. these problems cannot only be
solved by talks with the taliban. there has to be some other component. one is to help establish institutions. the afghans cannot do that alone. they need assistance to do it. our assistance so far was incoherent, fragmented, and modest. we cannot blame them only for not having the right institutions in place. by the way, that takes time. we have built democracies in how long a big time? they are still not perfect. -- we have built democracies in how long a time? >> a long road ahead. thank you for joining us. across the border in pakistan, the scandal surrounding suspect heart drugs claims lives. officials say that more than 100 people are believed to have died since december.
five pharmaceutical firms are currently under investigation, one that had previously lost its license for drug production. >> grief for a much love father and grandfather. the latest victims of the heart drugs which have cost summit lives. a relative from pakistan and britain have to say goodbye. >> he was nice, smiling. he would say, don't worry about me, i am fine. he never complained once in those days he was in the hospital. >> it was the poor who received a suspect drugs, 46,000 needy patients.
they got these at the punjab institute for cardiology in december. within weeks, some were dying. initially, doctors suspected dandy fever, not faulty drugs. the patients were not warned until january 11th. >> we have had our lessons learned. >> many patients have died. >> yes, many have died. i know. >> could they have been saved? >> it is possible. we acted as quickly as possible. >> but not quickly enough to spare these casualties in a crowded wards across town. doctors say that these patients are improving but it could be weeks or months before they recover. for now, all they can do is treat their sentence because they don't know the exact cause of their illness. the suspect heart drugs are
still being analyzed at laboratories abroad. patients are calling for answers and for justice. one man gave us his prescription for the drug companies that have left him bedridden. >> they should hang them publicly in disgrace like they do in saudi arabia. the patients who died left children behind. what will happen to them? >> those left behind, like the relatives of this man, wonder how they will be held to account. >> the doctors warned that this tragedy could be repeated because of lack of regulation and because state hospitals are compelled to buy the cheapest drugs. this time, they are cheap enough
to kill. >> you are watching "bbc world news america," still to come -- detecting autism at an earlier age. new research suggests that brain waves could be the key to a diagnosis. now to south sudan where just six months after declaring independence, a bit her dispute is raging in -- a bitter dispute is raging over its most precious commodity. the fee for a pipeline service has both countries amerced in mediation costs. >> this standoff is already being called the oil war. last week, south sudan announced it was stopping its oil production and accused sudan of
stealing its oil. sudan started confiscating south sudan's most precious resource over fees. issues like the borders, citizenship, and oil were unresolved. oil-producing regions are near the border. as a landlocked country, they rely on their northern neighbors to transport the oil to the coast where it can be shipped. here in the capital, they note that the economy needs that money. in south sudan, will account for 98% of the budget. euphoria of the independence day celebrations has not lasted very long. south sudan's decision to shut oil production dow has gained support but there are clearly tough economic times ahead.
during the long years of war, south sudanese people manage without oil revenues and they can do it again. that is the gist of the message? others fear that if there is no agreement over oil, sudan and south sudan could drift into another conflict. >> optimism. this is the developmental disability which impacts up to 70 million people around the world. -- autism. it may soon be possible to detect it at an earlier age. this is usually first spotted in children between the ages of 1 and 2. they have discovered the differences in the brain waves of young babies too are found to be autistic. -- who are found to be autistic.
>> this is how you test the brain waves of babies. these electrodes will pick up his responses. there was a big difference in his brain activity between the time when the faces on the screen were looking straight toward him compared to when they looked away. this suggests normal social interaction. 100 babies were tested in all. with some of those that later developed autism, there was a little difference in brain patterns. >> this is a setback that this is showing something we did not know about the differences. >> it would be a mistake to read too much into this small study. the test predicted autism correctly some of the time but it also got it wrong several times as well. the prospect of diagnosing autism in infancy is hugely attractive because the earlier
it is spotted and support of the dance, the better the outcome for children. this research is in a very early stages and the test would need to be a lot more accurate before it can be used routinely. this 9-year-old seemed to develop normally until about 18 months but then his speech stopped. his mother said as with any health conditions, early diagnosis is vital. >> he was very sociable, very interactive, responding to his name, talking to none of the above. perhaps if we had known at six months, you might be able to pick that out and we could have done something earlier. >> a lot more babies will be studied in a wider trial in london. a move which has been welcomed by autism charities. >> well, let the countdown
began. with just six months to go until the london games get underway, organizers offered a look at the opening ceremonies. with danny boyle heading the artistic effort, the theme is the aisles of wonder. many athletes will be taking part. among them, a female boxer from india who was making her olympic debut. ♪ ♪ >> by anyone's standard, she is a winner. five times world women's boxing champion, she is focused on the london olympics. she hopes that winning a medal when not only raise her own profile but also put her firmly
on the indian map. >> it is difficult but i have to do for my country and i have to fulfill my dreams. >> insurgency has halted much development in this area. there are not any foreign visitors. particularly until very recently, tourists were banned from this state. there are around 30 different insurgencies operating. the result is killing and violence. in the countryside where she grew up, the fields and rivers. sweat and pain are part of a boxer's daily life. it is a daily struggle. >> here, the top players'
backgrounds are very very poor. you have to do hard work to get money, to get a better life. >> a success for her would mean a massive win for manipor. >> i remember the story of david and goliath. david is a small boy, goliath is a big man. manipur is a small state. if i do very hard work, i would win. "she may be coming to london alone but the entire state would be behind her. -- >> she may be coming to london
alone, but the entire state would be behind her. >> a canadian teenagers have planted it there flag by sending a lego man into the stratosphere. there homemade spacecraft was fitted with a camera so it could record every minute. what happened to the spaceship? that is what i want to know. that brings the show to a close. you can find constant updates on our website. to see what we're working on, simply visit our facebook page. for all of us that "bbc world news america" thank you for watching and have a good weekend.
>> make sense of international news. bbc.com/news. >> funding for this presentation is made possible by -- the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu newman's own foundation and union bank. >> at union bank, our relationship managers work hard to know your business, offering specialized solutions in capital to help you meet your growth objectives. we offer expertise and tailored solutions for small businesses and major corporations. what can we do for you? >> "bbc world news" was presented by kcet los angeles.